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Polar Obsession Hardcover – November 10, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Product Description
The Arctic is in Paul Nicklen’s blood. Born and raised on Baffin Island, Nunavut, he grew up in one of the only non-Inuit families in a tiny native settlement amid the ice fields, floes, and frigid seas of Northern Canada. At an age when most children are playing hide-and-seek, he was learning life-and-death lessons of survival: how to read the weather, find shelter in a frozen snowscape, or live off the land as his Inuit neighbors had done for centuries.

Today Nicklen is a naturalist and wildlife photographer uniquely qualified to portray the impact of climate change on the polar regions and their inhabitants, human and animal alike. In a wise and wonderful intertwining of art and science, his bold expeditions plunge him into freezing seas to capture unprecedented, up-close documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales, walruses, polar bears, bearded seals, and narwhals. Bathed in polar light, his images, inspiring and amazing, break new ground in photography and provide a vivid, timely portrait of two extraordinary, endangered ecosystems.

Look Inside Polar Obsession

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A large female leopard seal greets photographer Göran Ehlmé. Anvers Island, Antarctica A young polar bear leaps between ice floes. Barents Sea, Svalbard, Norway A kittiwake soars in front of a large iceberg. Svalbard, Norway Narwhals dive deep under the ice to feed on Arctic cod, then return to the surface to breathe and raise their tusks high in the air. Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada
Mother bear and two-year-old cub drift on glacier ice. Hudson Strait, Nunavut, Canada


A gentoo penguin chick peeks, checking for patrolling leopard seals before tempting fate. Port Lockroy, Antarctic Peninsula A leopard seal feeds Paul Nicklen a penguin. Antarctic Peninsula A large bull walrus returns to the shores of Prins Karl Forland after diving and feeding on clams. Svalbard, Norway Looking towards an uncertain future, a huge male bear triggers a camera trap, taking his own picture. Leifdefjorden, Spitsbergen, Norway In the Arctic spring, meltwater channels drain toward and down a seal hole, returning to the sea.


About the Author

Paul Nicklen has been published in magazines around the world, including ten articles for National Geographic. He began his career as a wildlife biologist and took up photography fifteen years ago with the desire to bridge the gap between scientific research and public knowledge on wildlife subjects and climate change.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Point (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426205112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426205118
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is such a gorgeous book, and it really puts polar life in perspective. Paul is a great photographer with insight and anecdotes gleaned from growing up in the Arctic and spending years photographing life there and in Antarctica. His story about diving with leopard seals brought home to me how physically hard (and risky) it is to take these kinds of pictures--but in a strange way it also made me wish I could dive into the water with him!

I like this book because you get a real sense of the person behind the camera and why he does what he does; it's not just a photography book of beautiful images. It has stories about the photographs, which makes it very interesting and relatable--we have a copy at home and I plan to buy one for my twenty-something nephew who loves the outdoors. I think he'll be fascinated by Paul's stories and the wildlife he's photographed.
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By Paul B. on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful and inspiring almost beyond words Paul Nicklen has produced a book that stays in the minds eye long after the first look.
I no doubt will dream of seals and bears for weeks to come.
Well written and photographed with a skill and passion expected of a National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen has really done it proud. What I wouldnt give to have been there myself is the feeling you get. What more could you ask for in a book?
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an amazing compilation of images from both poles made by an extraordinary photographer and conservationist. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of Arctic and Antarctic wildlife.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Heard about the book on NPR and ran home to order it. The pictures are amazing and the description of life at the poles makes me love and appreciate the beauty of our Earth even more. I highly recommend buying it for yourself and/or a gift. You'll return to it again and again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received my copy before Christmas and was amazed at the images Paul has created and the links to the enviorment to be protected.

I do UW photography in warm water and his is hard work!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this as a gift and it was a fantastic success. The pictures are gorgeous and the text is interesting, its truly a one of a kind book. I did a lot of research and this book contains photos you cant find anywhere else...

TIP: If you know someone who likes narwhals, this will leave them speechless...don't even look at anything else, this is what you should buy for them.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. As an animal lover with a great appreciation for photography, I consider this to be one of my all time best Amazon purchases.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderfully readable book and one of the most thoroughly satisfying I have read in a long time.

Polar obsession is contagious to some of us and this book tells a rich variety of stories about encounters with arctic wildlife.

Paul Nicklen tells of his own experiences with melting ice.
His pictures produce a replica of what the impact of climate change is doing unfortunately to endangered ecosystems.

A must read!

Dag Stomberg
St. Andrews, Scotland
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I bought this book after hearing a story about the author on NPR. We were not disappointed at all by the book and instantly went through the whole thing together. The photos are gorgeous - it feels like you are part of the authors adventures. My husband is now considering going scuba diving in Antartica!
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